OK, I'm taking my own dare. My spring series, Vulnerability & Connection starts on Tuesday and I want share something I normally wouldn't as my first ingredient into the 'stone soup' we'll be creating over the 4 salons of the series.
The quote at the end of this post challenged me to get vulnerable with you. Hearing it and reading it afterwards, I immediately thought of the group, perhaps including you or a friend, that will be gathering on the 4 Tuesdays in April. Both the quote and this series on Vulnerability & Connection are about respecting, voicing and celebrating our authenticity and showing up as our truest self...to ourself and to others.
An Observation and a Vulnerable Share from Me:
These times are presenting even more challenges than before -- in Ukraine and elsewhere, here in the US politically, economically and societally, and in our communities and homes. And yet there are beautiful moments, like when Lady Gaga so tenderly said to Liza Minelli at the Oscars, "I've got your back."
You’re not alone. We are all feeling it. I'm feeling it, and it's not easy. It goes without saying that I do not see myself as “an artist". That's because I grew up in a very creative family, and those "slots" were taken. However, for the past few years, thanks to two dear artist friends and my artist daughter, Sarah Eisner (@eyesnerart on social media), I've been painting with them.
The ripples from our times together have empowered me to explore a new kind of expression on canvas and on paper. Who would have thought?!? So here, with you and in the spirit of vulnerability and knowing the power of vulnerability to generate ripples of connection, I'm daring to share this work in progress with you. A bit of explanation about what you're looking at.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a "painter", though years ago, I painted my entire kitchen and a guest room!
So for the past few weeks, when I found out that Ukraine’s national flower was the sunflower, I felt compelled to paint them in watercolor. Then I found myself surrounding them with tears, my tears. At first I only saw blood and destruction. Gradually, as I witnessed the courage and heart of the Ukrainian people, I realized that those tears would not be painted red, but instead as a series of Ukrainian flags.
So using the bolder medium of acrylic, I painted them as flags, as a tribute to their perseverance and dedication. The individual stories and collective efforts of the people in Ukraine, who now are coming into our own lives as refugees, have deeply inspired me. I’m sure the same is for you, too.
... and yet it is heart-searing to see happening. What has been a far away story, has already been touching our lives here in a much more direct way, through our friends and relatives. Their plight will have more ripples in our lives over time as well. Back to the painting... I’ve spent about a month on it. It has become part of my daily meditation, an outlet to express my feelings and to acknowledge the courage of these people, as individuals and as a collective and formidable force.
So with this post, I am also inviting you to gather up the courage to be curious and vulnerable enough to join us, without knowing the outcome. (Btw, that's what I'll be doing, too.)
Whether in our salons or with this post, I encourage you to dare to share whatever feels right to you, whether by speaking, actively observing, listening or writing here.
Looking Ahead to this Tuesday and Beyond:
Perhaps I'll see you for all or some of these upcoming Tuesdays in April (4:45pm PT, for the Meet and Greet, for a 5pm on-time start).
Please know that you can add a ripple by sharing this with your tribe and joining us, space allowing. There is no cost to attend and take place online.
Also I want to welcome Steven Ullman as another Featured Guest for our first screening salon. We had coffee yesterday and I'm so excited to have him with us!
Finally, see the quote below and info about my daily morning mediation routine. Both were what inspired the ripple in the form of this post.
Here’s to the ripples during our time together in your life and beyond💧💦🌊,
"Our rights as individuals" by Glenda Green: “You have a right to experience infinity from your own viewpoint and to appreciate within it vast potential the values and meanings which support your reason for being.
As part of this, you have a right to look above and beyond all structures, to disagree with common assumptions, and to say “no” to prospects and proposals which do not exist in harmony with your life and values. You have the right to exceed any structure that would try to contain you. You have the right to reach into the unknown, and dare to dream. You have a right to imagination, and to the fruits of its creation.
In that pursuit, it is your right to experience infinity and establish a viewpoint about your hopes and dreams." — Love Without End, Jesus Speaks, Glenda Green If you’re interested in joining this next 40-day meditation journey which starts on April 10th, visit LinhJames.com. These 30-minute morning meditation sessions are so special.
Details on them and all that my dear friend, Linh has created are there for you to peruse. She has truly tapped into her own rich talent and expertise by having the courage to be vulnerable and be true to herself.
Essentials & Quick LInks
DATES: Tuesdays in April, on the 5th, 12th, 19th & 26th
TIME: 5 - 7:30 pm PT* (Meet & Greet starts at 4:45pm PT)
*all time zones are welcome
Series Program & Trailers.
Book Your Salons (No fees to Join as a Member or book)
In lieu of any fees, please consider making a contribution to support our Featured Guests.
````, I've been focusing on what it takes to be vulnerable, what it looks like and why it’s so important… especially now. The scientific community has caught up with longstanding beliefs, traditions and rituals, showing that daring to expose ourselves to others ca`NOT be d`o`i`n`g` `t`h`a`t` `i`n April!)
What's a Screening Salon?
SSR has presented almost 40 of these in the past 2 years. Here's what to expect:
First, we gather in gallery view on Zoom to connect as a group and hear about the screened content we will experience together..
After the screening, we reconvene for a discussion facilitated by Christine. (Unlike traditional Q&As or panels, in these salons, everyone participates.)
Final closing salons are without screened content so that we can connect even more with the theme and each other.
There's no fee to attend or join as a member, though contributions are welcome, 100% of which go to our Featured Guests. (For more)
My deepest gratitude goes to our highly accomplished Featured Guests who will share their time and screened content with us during this 4-salon experience:
Gigi de la Torre, Cinematographer, & Co-Producer, Meeting Jim
Steven Ullman, Producer and longtime friend of Jim's
Peggy Callahan, Producer & Co-Director, Mission: Joy -- Finding Happiness in Troubled Times
Reed Frerichs, Co-Founder & CEO, The Lesson